On this day, May 22, 1986, Sylvester Stallone signs a 10-picture, six-year deal with United Artists. Signing for a reported $15 million for each film, the deal made him the richest actor in Hollywood.
Known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles–two of the most notable characters he has portrayed are boxer Rocky Balboa and soldier John Rambo–The Rocky and Rambo franchises, along with several other films, strengthened his reputation as an actor and his box office earnings.
Rocky was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay nominations for Stallone. The film went on to win the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing.
Rocky was inducted into the National Film Registry as well as having its film props placed in the Smithsonian Museum. Use of the front entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the Rocky series led the area to be nicknamed the Rocky Steps. Philadelphia has a statue of his Rocky character placed permanently near the museum, on the right side before the steps.
It was announced on December 7, 2010 that Stallone was voted into boxing’s Hall of Fame.
1907 – Sir Laurence (Kerr) Olivier (Academy Award-winning actor: Hamlet ; War Requiem, The Boys from Brazil, Brideshead Revisited, Carrie, The Jazz Singer, Peter the Great, Richard III, Spartacus, The Merchant of Venice, Marathon Man, Khartoum)
1924 – Charles Aznavour (Shahnour Varenagh Aznavurjian) (actor: Edith & Marcel, The Tin Drum, Twist, Ten Little Indians, Candy, Shoot the Piano Player; singer, songwriter)
1938 – Richard Benjamin (actor: Goodbye Columbus, Diary of a Mad Housewife, He and She, Portnoy’s Complaint, Love at First Bite, The Sunshine Boys, Westworld; director: The Money Pit, Little Nikita, Made in America, Milk Money)
1938 – Frank Converse (actor: Brother Future, Tales of the Unexpected, Home at Last, Cruise into Terror, N.Y.P.D., Movin’ On, The Family Tree, Coronet Blue, Dolphin Cove)
1938 – Susan Strasberg (actress: The Marriage, Toma, Picnic, Rollercoaster, Delta Force; died Jan 21, 1999)
1939 – Paul Winfield (actor: Tyson, Breathing Lessons, Carbon Copy, Cliffhanger, Dennis the Menace, Presumed Innocent, Sounder, The Terminator, Star Trek 2; died Mar 7, 2004)
1940 – Michael Sarrazin (actor: Lena’s Holiday, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, The Flim Flam Man, For Pete’s Sake, Mascara, The Seduction; died Apr 17, 2011)
1942 – Barbara Parkins (actress: Peyton Place, Captains and the Kings, Valley of the Dolls, Calendar Girl Murders, The Deadly Trap)
1970 – Naomi Campbell (model; writer: Swan; actress: Miami Rhapsody)